Good evening members, as we kick 2020 well and truly into touch we can only hope for a happy and safer 2021.
On behalf of the committee, we would like to Thank each and every one of you for your continued support during a very challenging 2020.
As a sporting club we were allowed to continue offering sporting sessions in accordance with our governing body British Canoeing however our home waters Pugneys lake was closed by the council as soon as lockdown was announced as well as Batley pool.
This gave us as a club a massive logistical issue as all our boats and gear were stored at Pugneys and would require transporting to a different venue if we could find one.
Luckily after some hunting around we found a usable spot on the River Calder at Horbury Junction, a nice clean stretch of river with a wide still section and a small beach as well as a weir and a few rapids just upstream, as an added bonus there is a large accessible car park a few metres from the river and we were given permission by the owner of the on site café to use the car park – a fantastic result as you could grab a great butty before getting on the water.
We ran a couple of sessions here and we then had a sudden influx of enquiries from people wanting to get involved with the club, after a few weeks we were running several sessions each Saturday (all socially distanced as required by British Canoeing and the Government), memberships soared and we had paddlers aged 5 – 80 participating in the sessions.
Although the sessions were enjoyed by all there was a lot of work behind the scenes in order for us as a club to deliver the sessions in a safe and controlled manor: Risk assessments, Covid forms, Track and Trace etc. not to mention loading the boats and transporting etc. We also had to quickly put in place an on line booking and membership system in order to eliminate having to handle cash and forms etc. at the sessions.
Late in the season we were eventually allowed back onto Pugneys, this allowed us to run even more sessions rather than turn members away and we kept running sessions almost until Christmas which again is a first for us as we normally stop running sessions around the end of October.
We plan to kick off sessions again in the next couple of weeks and hope to see all of our members back out on the water again throughout the coming year. We have some ideas about improving access etc. and would really appreciate help from members as well as parents etc.
During the year we have made investments including full refurbishment of the trailer which now allows us to transport up to 12 boats and all equipment safely to any venue in the area, we have also invested in some new equipment including helmets and we will continue into 2021.
2021 membership is due before 31st January 2021 and we hope you will all renew and enjoy the benefits of the club for another year. All current members should have received an email about renewal giving details of the preferred method of renewal – on line all of which can be done securely on our website:https://membermojo.co.uk/westyorkshirecanoeclub/renew
Normally we would have the AGM in November but due to the exceptional circumstances in 2020 we have postponed this and we are planning to run an on line AGM around the end of March – all members will be eligible to join the meeting and participate, we welcome any suggestions from our members and will be looking to fill some vacant positions on the current committee. Full details will follow in the coming weeks.
Of course, none of the above would be possible without our precious volunteers who give up their own time in order to run the committee and sessions etc. – massive Thank You to all of you out there for your continued support.
And once again a big Thank You to all our members and we hope to see you all again during 2021.
West Yorkshire Canoe Club